After a long, contentious battle, the Vermont statehouse has approved Senate Bill 141, which would impose new restrictions on firearms ownership in the Green Mountain State. The bill is widely expected to be signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin.
Although the anti-gun lobby devoted more than $50,000 to the effort—compared to about $15,000 spent by the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs—it failed to win the controversial background check expansions that it fervently sought.
Instead, what it did win was largely symbolic: The law, if signed by the governor, will bar those convicted of a lengthy list of crimes from owning firearms. Such prohibitions against criminals owning firearms have already been on the books for decades under federal law. Ironically, although Vermont’s new law will duplicate many federal provisions, its penalties in many cases will be less.
The Brady Campaign: Between A Rock And A Hard Place
With opinion poll after opinion poll finding growing support for Second Amendment rights, many wonder how the Brady Campaign can continue to remain solvent, let alone relevant. With the dismissal of the group’s case against LuckyGunner.com et al., in March, it’s looking like the answer might be “they can’t.” Particularly damning was the judge’s decision that Brady—along with the parents of one of the victims—must pay the defendants’ attorney’s fees, estimated at $280,000.
It now seems the Brady Campaign will have two choices. They can pay the amount—representing about 10 percent of their assets, or 5 percent of their budget—themselves, further impeding their struggle to accomplish, well, much of anything … or leave the victim’s family holding the bag and face a surefire public relations nightmare that may destroy their ability to find clients in the future. Either way, it could mean Bye Bye, Brady.
Is Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton Deaf?
The Minnesota Senate is poised to agree with the House and send a measure to Gov. Mark Dayton that would remove a ban on suppressors.
However, Dayton is turning a deaf ear to his own party, claiming, “To allow gunshots to be silenced increases the danger to law enforcement officers, and to innocent bystanders.”
That’s hogwash. Among the 39 states that have already legalized suppressors, there is no evidence that criminals are adopting them. Suppressors (which Dayton wrongly calls “silencers”) don’t silence gunshots, and they can double the length of a handgun, making it less concealable. In addition, they are expensive, and require an additional background check and a federal tax stamp—all of which currently take six months or longer.
There are, however, innocent bystanders being harmed—the tens of thousands of Minnesota hunters who suffer hearing damage from their sport. But Dayton seems deaf to them, too.
America’s Top Doc Seeks ‘Middle Road’ On Guns
Dr. Vivek Murthy was sworn in last Wednesday as the 19th U.S. surgeon general. And in an interview with The Washington Post, he discussed his plans to move the nation toward a “prevention-based society,” including continuing to raise the issue of gun violence as a public health issue.
“I'm not taking anything off of my agenda,” said Murthy. “I think the majority of the country recognizes that there is a middle road and the question is do we have the courage to find that road, and to walk down it.”
It’s clear that Murthy, who was opposed by the NRA given his lengthy history of anti-gun advocacy, will not carry out the mission of the office unmotivated by political agenda. “Murthy’s confirmation reminds our members and Second Amendment supporters everywhere, we must elect a pro-freedom president in 2016,” said NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen.
California Sheriff Budges On Permit Limbo
Orange County, Calif., Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has relented—sort of—in her anti-Peruta insistence that county residents show “good cause” before receiving a concealed-carry permit. About 2,500 Orange County residents had applied when the California Supreme Court voted to suspend their (own) ruling and rehear the case. 1,700 applicants were far enough along that their good cause of “self-defense” will stand.
The remaining 800 must “produce documentation of protective orders, threats or past attacks” to proceed.
The vast majority of cities and states have moved away from such a “may-issue” system, a mechanism often used to deny virtually all permits. This “none for you” attitude is now insupportable: Decades of data demonstrate that permit holders are extraordinarily law-abiding. We can only hope that the en banc review of Peruta this summer will reinstate the decision and allow background-checked and trained Californians to protect themselves and loved ones.
Armed Woman Fends Off Nude, Raving Attacker
Alice Woodruff of Waterbury, Conn., was alarmed when she spotted a naked man in her backyard allegedly attacking her dog. She retrieved her pistol and magazine and proceeded to confront the man while a family member contacted police. The crazed individual ranted that he was a member of ISIS and had contracted Ebola, but she held him at gunpoint until police arrived. At that point the man attempted to make his escape, but law enforcement officer eventually apprehended him. Woodruff and her family were not injured.